Many of you have been asking me how to watch foreign DVD's on our American players. It's a bit of a challenge, thanks to the region lock-outs that prevent one region's player from playing another region's disks. Fortunately, there have been many options available. Here's one solution for you.
It's becoming an open secret that newer DVD players include secret "easter egg" codes that allow you to override the region settings. There are websites that catalog the different makes and models, and the various procedures for cracking the codes. This is especially common with portable DVD machines.
Here is my new Christmas toy, the Insignia 9" portable DVD unit. Insignia makes a number of brands, seperated only by the screen size. This is one of the bigger ones, and they can easily be found at Best Buy or similar retailers.
Now, here's how you crack the easter egg code. First, we turn the machine on without any disc in the drive. We then press the SETUP button on the remote. That takes us to the following screen above.
Now, we need to hit the RIGHT ARROW three times, which takes us to the PREFERENCE screen. Now we're ready to punch in our secret code.
Using the remote, press the following code - 9653. Again, that's 9653.
Now you'll see this window appear. This window sets the region code for your player. We're going to keep things easy, so just press the down arrow and select 0. That means the unit will now be region-free.
Congratulations! You're done! Now you just have to hit the SETUP button again to exit, then put in any disc in the tray and start watching! The Insignia players, like all portable DVD's, can be connected to any TV. This code also works on any Insignia model, as best I know.
For me, this now means that I can now show all these great movies in front of audiences. There are a lot of folks who still haven't seen My Neighbor Totoro. Imagine their surprise at being able to watch Ghiblies Episode 2, or or Gauche the Cellist. This is a great little toy. Enjoy!
PS: I nearly forgot to add one important point. The region code resets whenever you turn off your Insignia player. That means that everytime you turn your player on, you must re-enter the override code. Dagnabbit! I can't really complain, in all fairness, since it only takes a few seconds, but it would have been nicer to only perform this once. Such is life.